You can hear it… you can see it…..and you can taste it… but there is no amount of words to give you the full effect of the New York dairy industry without these three senses. This industry is much more than an ordinary industry. New York’s dairy industry is about family traditions, safety for the consumer, and caring for animals. All it takes is three senses to get a flavor of what the New York dairy industry is like and it will have you begging for more.
SHHHH… Do you hear that? Milkers humming, cows mooing, and the milk truck arriving because it’s time to start another day on the farm. Every morning New York’s 625,000 dairy cow’s line up to be milked. These are the genies of our industry and foster mother of the human race, who provide us with a nutritious and wholesome product called milk. To do this, dairy farmers take on the responsibility to provide high-quality care to their cows, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They are hard working and intelligent people who take on the role of veterinarian, nutritionist, mechanic and many others throughout the workday. They make sure their cows are well taken care of, because the dairy farmer’s livelihood depends on the cow. The dairy industry is the number one sector of the agriculture industry in New York and provides thousands of jobs to families across the state. A dairy farmer’s job is very important to the economy because for every $1 a dairy farm spends about $2. 50 is contributed back to the local economy.
Oh look there! And there! Do you see that! As you travel down the winding roads of Upstate New York you’ll see nearly 4,000 dairy farms, 98% of which are family owned and operated, with many of them being passed down from generation to generation. This keeps the growth of the industry alive and shapes who we are today as dairy farmers because we learn from our past and build upon the knowledge given from our ancestors to provide for an even better future.
MMM…. Do you taste that? Creamy yogurt, chilly ice cream, and cool milk. The dairy industry provides hundreds of different products, so it’s not hard to find one to make your mouth water. The dairy case has something for everyone with low fat, fat- free, and lactose free products. As you move up and down the dairy aisle your mouth will be watering in anticipation of eating these delicious dairy products. All of these products are filled with power packed nutrients, which is why it is recommended you consume three to four servings of dairy each day. Milk has nine essential nutrients including calcium, potassium, protein, and vitamin B12. These nutrients not only help nourish your body but your bones too. Dairy farmers are committed to providing a safe, steady supply of your favorite dairy products all year long.
New York’s dairy industry is truly rare and irreplaceable and provides opportunity you can’t find anywhere else. You will find that farmers have a passion for their COWS, a passion for FAMILY, and a passion for keeping the products they produce SAFE. The sights, sounds, and taste of the dairy industry protect the PAST, represent the PRESENT, are a glimpse into the FUTURE.
Written by: Heather Wasson